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How to Get Men to Participate in Worksite Wellness Programs

Posted Nov 14 2012 9:41am

MovemberMen are often known to be indifferent towards their health and will only go to the doctor if they are extremely sick - skipping preventative screenings. As a result, awareness of men's health issues can lag significantly behind and getting them to participate in wellness activities can be tricky. That's where the mustache movement comes in. 

Movember aims to reverse this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. In the last few years, the Movember movement has grown wildly popular, with people all over the world growing mustaches or "Mo's" for 30 days to change the face of men's health. It gives men the opportunity to talk about their health more openly and turns participants into walking billboards for men's health issues.

As a health promotion professional, you can piggyback your wellness efforts on this popular health campaign and bring attention to men's health issues at your worksite. Like most wellness efforts, you have a better chance of reaching men if you develop a program that is specifically targeted to them.

Building upon the Movember theme, dedicate the month of November to men's health. Consider hosting your own mustache contest. Take before and after photos to show off employee ‘staches. For those “follicly challenged” staff include a special session where staff members can make their own mustaches (or use those hilarious mustache props) and learn more about men’s health.

Here are a few ideas to consider as part of Movember:

Health Screenings 
November is a great time to bring health screening services on-site. Besides a biometric screening, you can also include a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for men over 50. Through a simple fingerstick or blood draw, you can screen men for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men in America.

Health Risk Assessment (HRA)
Most of men’s greatest health risks are the result of their unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors, such as eating poorly and driving dangerously. HRAs  can help men recognize health risks and address potential health issues.

Education
Use the month to focus on men's health issues such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and accidental injuries. Set-up exhibits or booths in high traffic areas or cafeterias to attract more attention. Also, consider adding an article in newsletters or on the intranet. 

Participating in Movember can bring many benefits to your worksite wellness efforts, from team building and moral boosting to improving the understanding of the health risks men face and getting them to take action. 

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